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January 25, 2017 | 15:45 | Dubai
According to an article published by S&P Global Fixed Income Research, S&P Global Ratings downgraded 33 European financial and nonfinancial companies in the fourth quarter of 2016–similar to the 27 downgrades in the third quarter of the year and close to the lowest downgrade count since the third quarter of 2015. The number of corporate upgrades rose in the fourth quarter to 27.
The report, titled “European Corporate And Sovereign Credit Outlook–Fourth-Quarter Trends Suggest Corporate Downgrades Could Slow In 2017,” says that although the number of rating actions increased in the fourth quarter, the annual counts of both upgrades and downgrades in 2016 fell compared with 2015.
“At the end of December 2016, 15% of our ratings on European companies either had a negative outlook or were on CreditWatch with negative implications,” said Andrew South of S&P Global Fixed Income Research. “While this measure of negative ratings bias continued to exceed the positive bias of 11%, it has declined since the end of September and remains well below its long-term average of 22%, suggesting that the number of corporate downgrades could slow.”
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